12.20.2012 09:07 AM

Your morning bullshit

Who paid for this poll? Was it really all conducted on a single day? Wouldn’t the margin of error be much higher?

But those are the kind of questions Messrs. Bricker et al. like to ask, and (hopefully) will.

I can tell you the teachers’ actions have hurt them, tremendously, with real folks.  Their tactics are going to backfire on them, big time.


  1. Patrick says:

    When does our nation’s greatest province get to have an elected legislature again?

    Oh, yeah, we don’t get to know.

    Good luck defending this escalating mess. Sounds like a real winner of a case you’ve got to make there. Lowest in the nation approval ratings for Dalton, and public sector labour wars on all fronts.

    Please wake me up when the election is so we can restore democratic governance in Ontario. Even as a one-time closet Dalton sympathizer of non-LPC affiliation, this is becoming a worse joke on a daily, if not hourly basis.

    • james Smith says:

      Eloquent, truly eloquent. Did you lift this from the Dipper Website? Dippers are only really happy when the neocons are in power. Keep it up & that’s what you’ll get.

  2. dave says:

    From experience…usually report card comments and such are demanded by admin who claim that parents want such and such. I often asked, but never received any evidence at all of what parents wanted. Parents and caregivers never had any problem at all finding out from me and my colleagues how their kids were doing.
    During a similar job action here in BC all the people I knew in teaching were giving informal reports as usual to parents. They just were not doing the formal admin ok’s reports.
    One thing admin always arranged was that reports were done over a weekend, often a long weekend.
    Admin always resisted the idea of staggering report card distribution, so as to even out the work load. The reports always had to be done in one two or three day rush, suggesting they are more for admin needs…not student and parent feedback.

    In any job action I was involved in in the good old days, the longer it went on, the more the reporters learned about the situation, the more the public learned, the more they distrusted the slick stuff that came from admin , boards’ and assorted other political big shots’ pr experts.
    (Yr average pr huckster, yr run of the mill politcal operative, really does not know much about the way schools and public ed runs. A school can be an amazingly complex system…nobody moves so many people around, on time, for such a variety of activity as does a school.)

    Attacking teachers, especially organized teachers, is a well entrenched Canadian sport. Governing parties, NDP included, have always tapped into this sport’s fan base when in a pinch.
    I can certainly see why Ontario Libs, during a leadership run, would want to appeal to this fan base.

  3. Chris says:

    “Their tactics are going to backfire on them, big time.”

    And then what? The hamfisted way that McGuinty and Broten have handled this have left teachers with little choice but to push back.

    “You reap what you sow” counts equally for both sides here.

    • Bill Temleman says:

      Warren seems to have over-looked this line in the NP article above: “Get involved in politics and work to get the Liberals booted from office.” Teachers will do precisely that. And add to this fire the fact that Broten has engaged in a highly wasteful spate of school closures across the province that waste money. Jeff Leal is going to have a tough run in the next election here in Ptbo. Warren, the more you dump on teachers, the more you hasten the ascendancy of Premier Hudak. Sorry WK, the Libs have picked the wrong fight with the wrong tactics and voters are going to make them pay big time. Dumping on teachers makes you sound like the right-wingers you claim to detest….

  4. JamesHalifax says:


    But Warren, didn’t you hear? The Strike action has nothing to do with greedy underworked teachers….

    IT’s all about the kids!!!

  5. blueworld says:

    hmm.. interseting that a liberal would say rubbish to star article but praise a National Post article when it suits their rhetoric.

    I can tell you another thing. The antics of the McGuinty gov’t have upset many real folks as well. The amount of people upset and ready to abandon these grits is astounding. It’s unbecoming!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Full disclosure: This message comes from a broad sample teachers and non-teachers alike

    Stay tuned folks. Unless the new GRIT leader jumps in the sac with the NDP… say hello to anew world in the Spring. It did not have to be that way though… if McGuinty when to fill his milk jar from Horvath instead of Hudad… he would have been an example towards cooperation for the federal party and he would still be alive today. Talk about losing your political instincts.

    • GFMD says:

      Hudak wasn’t trustworthy and still isn’t – he supported anti-conservative measures horwath put forward just to hurt mcguinty.

      Dalton’s bigger problem was burning Horwath so the Libs and NDP couldn’t work together. Yes there was a bigger gap ideologically but they could work out a deal the other guy would stick to.

      • blueworld says:

        yes I agree

        Rick Salutin has a great article in Friday’s Star that sums up McGuinty. The guy lost it.. and there does seem to be a cloud of mystery as to why he jumped the shark. He literally bailed. All he had to do was cooperate with Horvath and he could ride out his term. What a doofus.

  6. Marc L says:

    They have public support. Yeah, right. Go take a look at the comments section of the teachers’ strike story on the Globe and Mail’s website, and you’ll see what kind of public support the teachers have. The only positive comments in favour of the teachers are…other teachers. And, the occasional union goon.

  7. James Bow says:

    Speaking as a parent with two kids in the elementary school system, Warren, who had to find alternate arrangements on Tuesday, I have to say that I’m not surprised by these poll results. Listening to other parents in the school yard, I think that the majority are sympathetic to the teachers cause, while a second majority oppose long-term strike action. That’s not mutually exclusive. Nobody likes to have their days disrupted, or their kids held back through job action, but we all have a great appreciation for the hard work that our rank-and-file teachers do in educating our kids, and a lot of us have an understanding that (a) the teachers have a right to negotiate just like the rest of us and (b) their options for leverage are limited.

    I think it was a tactical error for the McGuinty government to come in with a big and bold anti-strike, contract settling bill, and then back off to try and resolve these contracts through negotiation. Most people I’ve talked to on the school yard saw that as someone wielding the hammer, and it immediately placed the teachers’ in the position of the underdog. And if you try to negotiate, but don’t offer much give (understandable, given the state of the province’s finances), well, what choice do the teachers have? In some ways, I think it might have been tactically better for the McGuinty government to have just followed through on Bill 115 and imposed the contracts. It would have lost the teachers entirely as a Liberal ally, and possibly be seen as a dictatorial tactic, but it would be like ripping a bandage off — short term pain for long term political gain.

    The teachers have a lot of good will at the moment, partly because of who they are, partly because of the stories of the selfless acts that have come out of Newtown, and partly because of the strong-arm tactics applied by the McGuinty Liberals before prorogation, but which have not resolved this dispute. If this drags on, this attitude on the part of the public will change, but right now the poll results above do not surprise me in the least.

    • CQ says:

      Today’s youngsters, i.e.; the future and a simply more further debt-burdened generation have no(!) right to negotiate just like the rest of us. One day those future adults are going to look back and ask, “what was so d*mn sacred about financial conflict appeasements, issuing and keeping unaffordable spending levels, and never incurring a strike action from people (who aren’t the least bit faux-hungry)?”

      • GFMD says:

        Yeah, that’s because after a few years of hudak worker’s will be forced to fight amongst themselves to see who can put in the most free overtime – winner gets full water ration tonight, everyone else is still at half. All the economy can afford right now, don’t ya know.

  8. Name Withheld says:

    Full disclosure: I am an elementary teacher and an ETFO member. What you might find surprising is that I completely disagree with my union’s position over Bill-115.

    This is not a discussion on “rights” of any kind, or “austerity” as the unions would have you believe. It’s about the sustainability of the system. If you chart the growth in teacher compensation (and by this I mean salary, benefits, pension contributions tied to grid advancement, sick days and their bankability, etc.) it doesn’t take a mathematician to see that unchecked growth in this sector is no longer possible. At BEST, it must be substantially slowed. Further gains would have to mean fewer full-time teachers; trimming entitlements like sick days and eliminating cash-outs for them means keeping jobs in place and improving the fiscal health of Ontario. Many of my colleagues don’t realize it, but we are at the point where we have essentially made ourselves too expensive/have priced ourselves out of the market.

    Another part of the problem here is that most teachers start their careers fresh out of school at the age of 23-24. The unionized, collectively-bargained work environment, job security and its benefits are all they have ever known. I have been working in this environment for well over a decade and have seen my salary double in less than that time. For many people like me, the jobs that got us through our undergrad years and B.Ed.’s are the only taste of “the real world” (as it’s called) that we’ve ever known. Without an external frame of reference, and by not turning a critical eye to what their representation is telling them, most teachers are buying what ETFO and OSSTF are selling.

    Politically, I am worried than an reflexive exodus of teacher votes from the Liberals will lead to vote splitting and an opportunity for the Conservatives to walk up the middle to victory in the next election. If ETFO and OSSTF think they have their hands full with the Liberals (and their remarkably ham-fisted approach to these negotiations), they haven’t got a clue about the times that could follow.

    This job is so rewarding, and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every day of it. I wish everyone else could say as much of their place and choice of work. It can be demanding, but for an organized individual with good planning skills, people skills and classroom management, it’s more than doable. We are well compensated for what we do in every respect, and I really do believe that many teachers out there feel the same as I do. Most of us got into this for the right reasons (i.e. – NOT for the holidays, etc., etc.) and once this situation is resolved we will build back the goodwill our leadership has so brazenly evaporated on our behalf.

    I’ve had to withhold my name because advancing it would likely cost me a steep fine, some kind of reprimand and Gawd knows what else. What I’d like the public to understand, however, is that not all teachers are on board with this shit. In this great discussion on “democratic rights” (as spun by ETFO and OSSTF) my right to speak a voice of dissent has been effectively silenced through threats and sanctions. This, more than anything else, is what burns my ass at the moment.

    So to the public I say, “please assume all teachers are red-blodded ETFO members.” Some of us are concerned Ontarians above all else.

    • Cath says:

      “Many of my colleagues don’t realize it, but we are at the point where we have essentially made ourselves too expensive/have priced ourselves out of the market.”

      I’ve heard many other teachers say the same thing.

      I also know that parents are more supportive of individual classroom teachers than they are of the union brain trust.
      I think McGuinty knows this also, and that the numbers support him.

  9. Name Withheld says:

    * please DON’T assume we’re all red-blooded, … ” Can’t even edit my own shit!

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Interesting post.

      Hopefully, you use different languange and more care when editing your student’s work.

      Other than that……glad to see some teachers realize how good they have it compared to other working stiffs. Frankly, I think many of the teachers would rather be working, and that their union bosses are the real asshats.

      • Campbell says:


        Unless our friend, Name Withheld, is teaching in a one-on-one classroom environment, I’m fairly sure that he/she is teaching more than one student at a time…
        I believe you meant to say: “Hopefully, you use different language and more care when editing your students’ work.”?

        I’d rather be the sort of person that misses words from time-to-time than the sort of person that doesn’t know where to put an apostrophe.

        …and more to the point: Warren – any chance of getting an “edit” function added to this here discussion board?

        And lastly, to Name Withheld – very interesting post. That could be turned into a quality opinion piece for a newspaper in my view! (As long as they’d publish you anonymously, of course!)

      • smelter rat says:

        “union bosses”? It ain’t 1940 anymore, James.

  10. Sean says:

    Mixed feelings on this:

    – Teachers have clearly had it better under McGuinty than any other premier of the last 20 years. Actually every public service union has had it better under McGuinty.

    – Some unions understand the economic recovery situation and some frankly don’t give a damn about anything going on in the world outside. Teachers’ unions in Ontario are definitely part of the second group.

    – That being said, I think the Lib gov’t has gone too far with its stance on the right to collective bargaining in this case. This is deeply against the DNA of grassroots Libs who see this as a Charter issue. Either you are an essential service or you are not. Knock it off with the limits to strike. The right to organize sometimes means you have to put up with labor negotiators who are totally full of shit. Too bad. That’s the price you pay to live in a progressive society.

    – I strongly supported the teachers in their stand against Bill 160 about 15 years ago and related disputes. That was an entirely different situation because they were fighting against a government that was truly out to get them and really did stand opposed to education funding. This current situation does have the whiff of an ugly cash grab based on the assumption that no matter how bad the world economy gets, their union will always get more.

    – My own public service bargaining unit recently completed negotiations and didn’t ask for anything extravagant. Basically the same as what we had before. I am proud of our negotiating team for recognizing reality and doing what was right for the membership. By comparison, the teachers’ union leaders are living on another planet.

    – Libs who are worried about teacher support in the next election… Don’t. The alleged role they played (if any at all) in getting the Libs elected in 2003 has been wildly over played.

    – The poll of course depends on the question asked. IE “Do you support the teachers in their disagreement with the government?” VS “Do you support teachers’ unions going on strike for contract increases.” I’d anticipate very different responses.

    – I don’t believe for a second that Joe and Jane teacher (the gym teacher / hockey coaches, the drama teacher / play directors) are with their leadership on this. I also think that Joe and Jane teacher will continue to plop just as many Lib. signs on their lawns as they did in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

    • Chris says:

      Teachers aren’t asking for anything extravagant either.

      Everybody loves to claim that the rank and file aren’t with the leadership – so how do you explain the 90% strike votes?

      • Cath says:

        teachers over at the People for Education discussion board are wondering about that 90% number too Chris. Especially when they know that 30,000 of the membership allegedly did not vote. Wouldn’t that make that number more like 55%? Not exactly a tidal wave of member support.

        WK’s right in his comments.

  11. JamesHalifax says:


    The teachers did have it good under the Liberals. The problem is, they had it TOO good, and we simply cant’ afford such extravagance any longer. The Unions support whomever gives them the most goodies. Dalton had his run, and has now run into financial reality. The Unions will now focus on the NDP; who we all know…never met a union they weren’t prepared to throw other peoples’ money at.

    The “Working Families Coalition”…otherwise known as, “The Public Sector Marxists society” will now take out ads against the LIbs.

    • dave says:

      Actually, here in BC there were times when NDP gvts legislated teachers back to work.

      End of 1970s, grabbing a beer with another teacher. I was ok. My salary kept my wife, our kids and me in shelter and three squares, and we had a back yard. Pretty nice.
      The other teach said to me, “Maybe we should think about taking a wage cut, you know, make a contribution like that.”
      I said, “Suppose we took a cut. Who do you think would get the money the gvt then had?”
      He didn’t answer, that I remember, but I think that we both had a rough idea of who gets unpaid wages.

    • Sean says:

      James Halifax said “The “Working Families Coalition”…otherwise known as, “The Public Sector Marxists society” will now take out ads against the LIbs.”

      Umm… no they won’t… for reasons I won’t post on this site.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        The most obvious reason would most likely be that they don’t want to risk having Hudak get in.

        I don’t need to post the reasons, as most who follow this site can pretty much guess why.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Actually, dan F….

      Bob Rae didn’t make the hard choices….he made the wrong choices.

      The guy who came in after Rae was left to make the truly hard choices.

      And look what that got him.

  12. Art says:

    Remember when beating up the teachers was going to win the Liberal’s a by-election in Kitchener-Waterloo?

    Good times.

    Glad the Liberals are learning…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.